Being a hater means being confident enough to admit when you don’t like something.
Don’t you hate it when you’re in a hurry and the person that’s in front of you blocks the way, walking slowly, distractedly, as if taking a stroll through a beautiful field in nature? Or people who talk loudly on the phone while they’re in public? What about crowded places or the current corny movie everyone loves except you? Then there's my personal pet peeve, people who suffocate everyone around them with indecent amounts of perfume. Yeah, that’s what being a hater is all about: openly hating something everyone seems to love for no reason.
On the outside, being a hater seems to be like the worst thing ever. In fact, it seems that our modern society is obsessed with positive thinking, affirmations, and self-assurance, all of which end up drifting into complacency. However, there’s a strange pleasure in being honest about all the things you hate, and not only that, being conscious about your hate can help you cope with the small yet annoying things we meet in everyday life and know what you want in life.
Our mental health depends on being able to be openly sulky haters when we want to be. You don’t have to read studies to know that cursing or being outspoken about something you hate gives pleasure. At some point, it is to let go of a burden. For instance, the whole experience of traffic wouldn’t be tolerable if you couldn’t curse the entire ancestry of the driver that’s in front of you. That’s why those bursts of hate are fascinating, because they keep us sharp and make us notice what we don't want in our life. Moreover, they make us use our observation skills to despise something with the most creative language possible. Because it simply isn’t enough to say, “I hate this!” to express our anger. You have to be able roast a person or a situation with quirk and honesty.
The best standup comedians understand this, practice it, and create an entire art form out of it, so we can listen to their rants and feel less alone with our hatred. I call it recreational hate, and we all exercise it whenever we hate-watch a terrible romantic comedy just to roll our eyes at the cheesy dialogue and dissect everything that’s wrong or mediocre about it. A positive thinker would argue: Why do you waste your time watching things you hate? Why don’t you dedicate your life to the profession of flower-smelling and the rest of the things you enjoy? Well, because it feels good. We all love to hone our critical skills, and sharp criticism can turn bad art into a cathartic experience.
In the same way, as strange as it might sound, a hateful rant can actually help us connect with other haters out there. Maybe you've heard about the dating app that connects you with people that hate the same thing as you. But you don't have to go that far. I guess you already know how wonderful it is to find a person that hates the same thing you do. As their negative opinion about X topic leaves their mouth and reaches your ears, the world is suddenly beautiful and bright again. Your face lights up with a smile because you've found a new best friend. In that way, hate makes us transparent and reachable, while pretending that everything’s fine is not only hypocritical, but it can make you bear with things, situations, or people you can't really stand, and bottling up all those emotions ends up harming your mental well-being.
Being a hater is all about recognizing that the world sucks most of the time, pointing it out, and either accepting that there are forces that you simply cannot control or searching for a way to solve the situation you hate. Don’t let the Buddha wannabes sell you their ineffective rosy filters. Enjoying life to its fullest means appreciating and recognizing all of it, not only the flowery parts.
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Images by kat irlin.